Author(s) name(s): Dr. Katina Grigoraskos
The current and future prospects for online training in the corporate sector are promising, with many opportunities existing in its potential to develop corporate training options and employee development cultures and offer original recruiting strategies and innovative branding and marketing (Dodson et al., 2015). The main advantages of technology-based training focus on cost-effectiveness, convenience, and efficiency. Evaluation of online training is an essential component in presenting it as a practical and more efficient alternative to traditional classroom training. However, both research in this area and online training evaluation methods are limited and there is much yet to prove about the benefits it holds over traditional training methods (Schmeeckle, 2003).
According to KPMG (2015), the top advantages of digital learning involve capabilities of global reach, cost, uniformity among participants, and ease of training trainers. From the user perspective, the main motivations involved not having to travel, being able to work at an individual learning pace, and that training was mandatory for employees. E-learning was also perceived as flexible in terms of being able to learn anywhere and anytime, and it is important for career development. The main barriers identified included impact and measurement, and implementation and sustainability of learning. Associated challenges included administrative challenges, technical issues, cost, quality and lack of engagement. Regardless of convenience or cost, the main areas to focus on are learning outcomes and needs to determine effective learning methods and knowledge acquisition in digital learning (Wildi-Yune & Cordero, 2015).
Main benefits identified with corporate training e-learning were reduction of costs and time, increased productivity, customized instruction for learners, consistent course delivery, and organizational benefits, especially regarding meeting the needs of internationally dispersed workforces. Corporate training activities may be synchronous in the sense that they are instructor-led, or asynchronous, meaning self-paced learning. Main limitations of e-learning focused on the lack of face-to-face interaction with peers, software and support resource needs, learner drop out, significant costs involved in developing programs, maintaining and updating content, and assessment of learning (Zornada, 2005).
Challenges with distance learning in the corporate sector must also be investigated and understood in order to make improvements and generate appropriate solutions. These obstacles were explored by Berge (2002), who found a relationship between the level of organizational competence with distance learning and barriers to distance learning. The corporate trainers and educators in institutions which have stronger capabilities in delivering distance education hold a perception that there are less barriers to distance learning, which demonstrate that experience with such online systems contributes to both confidence and more positive attitudes associated with distance learning (Berge, 2002).
Although e-learning has its associated disadvantages, it is more cost efficient in comparison to traditional training methods. Focusing on the Return-on-Investment factor, Wozniak-Zapor (2013) calculated a comparison between both methods and found that online training was less expensive, especially when considering the amount of employees needing training is high. In addition, the researchers found that integrating an e-learning platform into an organization’s currently existing platform can produce benefits in terms of providing communication hubs, as well as spaces for employee testing and certification (Wozniak-Zapor, 2013).
Regardless of the pros and cons of online versus traditional corporate training, it is important that organizations examine and analyze these from the perspective of what is most beneficial and necessary for an organization’s growth and success (Wozniak-Zapor, 2013).
Submitted by Dr. Katina Grigoraskos on Oct 19, 2022